How to start a one-woman business in NYC
Let’s set the scene: you’re a strong, sassy, independent woman living in the vast metropolis that is New York City, looking to take your original business concept and develop it into a functional, profitable start-up. After weeks of “umming and aahing” over whether to pursue this venture and consulting every single person you know for their advice, you’re now at the point of conducting market-based research. You want to nail down your business concept, check out the competition, and consider what financial options are available to you.
Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed with all this information and the decisions facing you? No worries––we have created a list of steps to help you start a one-woman business in NYC.
Narrow Your Business Ideas
Early in the game, you may not have yet considered exactly what it is you want your business to be––just that you have a desire to use your skills and talents and be your own boss. If this is the case, it’s a good idea to make two lists alongside a friend or family member who you trust to be honest but supportive.
In the first list, you can write down ideas that link to your personal skills.
Are you a great cook or a fantastic baker? A mini fast-food-style dessert store or kitsch café could be an option for you.
Are you particularly crafty and handy at designing and making items? Handmade jewelry or producing reworked vintage clothing could be the direction to move towards, or you could offer an alteration and fitting service.
Do you have a good eye for unique items? Why not look into developing a second-hand book and antiques store?
In the second list, you can research and jot down the most popular ventures that are also likely to be profitable, and then compare this with your first list.
Research and Write Your Business Plan
Dig deeper. Review market trends and consumer behavior to see if your idea is strong enough. Understand supply and demand, and gather as much info as possible by talking with people and researching online.
Learn who your competitors will be. What would set your business apart from theirs? After research, if you think your first concept isn’t original, would be too expensive to launch, or would not generate enough income over the long term, move on to a different idea.
Once you have decided on your small business concept, choose a name. Then think about your mission statement, objectives to reach your goals, strategy, target customer, and marketing budget, and write your business plan. Of course, you’ll also need to think about funding––up next.
Review Your Financing Options
Since cash is king in New York, you need to consider how you’re going to fund this venture. How much do you have in cash reserves? How much of that are you willing and able to put into your idea? What will you have left over to cushion you against unexpected delays and issues you may encounter? Once you have collected this information (the more cash reserves you have, the better), you can start looking into your additional financing options.
To get a comprehensive overview of funding, you can first check out all the choices for small business financing in New York. This will outline what you need to be eligible for various financing, and it will help you to draw up a budget and plan the other aspects of your business. Note: it may be prudent to look into finances before developing a business plan, to ensure that when you apply for loans, you have everything in place that is required to obtain the necessary funding. You will need a solid business plan to secure a loan.
Dive into the Details
Once you have decided upon what your business is going to be and reviewed financing options, you can start considering your next steps, such as locating a work space, and if necessary, a retail space, and the design and decoration of this space. Figure out the date your business will officially open.
Register Your Business
Decide if your business will be a sole proprietorship or an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation), and register it in New York. Hire a competent accountant to advise you on tax matters and other financial aspects of running your business.
Get to work!
Although stepping out on your own to start a small business in New York City can be daunting, it doesn’t have to be. As long as you research and prepare before taking the plunge, there is every chance you can turn your business idea into a roaring success.